Spotify has been one of the largest and longest players in the streaming music service. They brought the idea of controlled streaming to the United States market, inspiring brands like Groove Music and Beats Music. While Spotify may not be the most successful of the brands, it is certainly one of the louder ones. Representatives have said multiple times that album exclusives are bad for everyone, but mostly for consumers. Being a fan of an artist should not be punished for not subscribing to a particular service.
On the other hand, Apple has a very different take on the concept. Apple Music, formerly Beats Music, has begun the process of creating exclusive contracts with artists and labels for new music. These exclusives are good for Apple Music customers, but being as Apple Music is not the market leader, it is not good for most users.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Spotify might be advocating for customers in a way that is unusual: by punishing artists. According to unnamed sources, Spotify has been decreasing the search rank of artists who have signed exclusives with other services. What this means for users is that, when searching on Spotify, less relevant search results could appear before results for artists like Drake. In addition to search, the report also accuses Spotify of preventing previously exclusive tracks from being features in playlists once their music is available on Spotify.
Spotify has been clear and direct in their response to these accusations. A representative for the company said the accusations are "unequivocally false." That is a far cry from the usual response of "we don't comment on the inner workings of the company" that most representatives give when an accusation comes close to the truth, or is not worth dignifying with an answer.